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Highlight rows and columns of active cell in LibreOffice Calc

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This is a simple guide to highlight rows and columns of active cells in LibreOffice Calc as you move around the spreadsheet.

Working with large spreadsheets in LibreOffice Calc can sometimes feel difficult since you always work with a fixed-resolution display. Keeping track of your current row and column number is complex when you are dealing with many rows or columns.

It would have been easier if the row and column of the active cell were highlighted automatically and changed as the active cell changed.

This was a feature that was asked many times by the devs.

Here’s how.

highlight rows and columns of active cell
highlight rows and columns of active cell

Highlight rows or columns of active cell in LibreOffice

  • Open LibreOffice Calc or use any open document.
  • Go to menu Tools > Options > LibreOffice Calc > View. Or click View menu > Column/Row highlighting.
  • On the options dialog, enable the column and row highlight options.
  • Apply and close.
  • Now you can see the highlight in the corresponding row and column of the active cell (see below).
Menu option for columns and rows highlight
Menu option for columns and rows highlight
Options settings
Options settings

To turn it off, simply choose the same option from the menu again.

Usage tips

  • For better clarity, you can use the zoom-in or zoom-out option with the above highlight.
  • This feature is not available out of the box in Microsoft Excel. You need a macro. However, LibreOffice provides it from version 24.2 onwards.
  • OpenOffice does not have this feature.

Closing notes

Navigating your spreadsheets will now be a smoother, more focused experience, allowing you to be more productive.

Do let me know in the comment box, if this article helped you for the benefit of others.

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wolf seiboth

Hi Arindam,
Thanks for this information.
What is your Version of LibreOffice? I got now :

Version: 7.6.4.1 (X86_64) / LibreOffice Community

Build ID: e19e193f88cd6c0525a17fb7a176ed8e6a3e2aa1

CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 6.5; UI render: default; VCL: kf5 (cairo+xcb)

Locale: de-DE (en_US.UTF-8); UI: en-US

Calc: threaded

but I cannot find this option of highlighting rows and columns. Neither inside the options nor in the view-menu.

Thanks in advance.

wolf seiboth

So, can we hope to get it as a “normal” release soon?